Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Lewisham in a little art deco apartment which I have heavily decorated in a style one could describe as “maximalist-grandma-cosmic-boudoir-chic”. Think floral wallpaper, doilies, velvet curtains, beautiful lighting and a surprising amount of novelty Star Wars paraphernalia.
What do you love about Sydney?
It truly is one of the most beautiful cities, and I think so much of that has to do with proximity to water and green spaces. There is a bountiful supply of parks, waterways and natural wonders. I sincerely hope we only ever expand and embrace those features more.
Do you have a favourite Sydney restaurant?
I made a post-lockdown resolution to try as many of Sydney’s glorious restaurants as possible – admittedly an indulgent and not exactly world-saving mission, however I spend a lot of time in and around Newtown and I’m quite fond of people-watching from an outdoor table on Australia Street at Continental Deli Bar Bistro. Everything on the menu is delicious, but obviously it’s important to begin with a selection of cheeses and tiny fish – then pop down the road for a cocktail and a Montenegro from the world’s loveliest bartender, Dale, at Earl’s Juke Joint.
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Where do you go for breakfast?
My local is Brothers Ben in Petersham. The food is delicious in an if-more-people-knew-about-this-there-would-be-lines-around-the-corner way, and the staff know my name and thus I am forever theirs. I’m one of those people who goes midweek and brings a laptop so I can work from a quiet corner table and never stop ordering out of guilt. But obviously the inner west is brunch heaven. Favourites include Two Chaps, Kurumac, West Juliett, Cornersmith, Either Or, One Another and many others.
It’s your birthday – how do you spend it?
Well, it would likely begin with a sleep-in. Then perhaps a long, lazy champagne-y picnic in the Botanic Garden with a group of friends. The pandemic reinforced my love of picnics and preparing a beautiful spread of yummy homemade bits for friends. Then I’ve always wanted to throw a big party at Clovelly Bowling Club. I just love how it’s this perfect mid-century building in the most ridiculously stunning seaside location and remains relatively untouched, sparsely frequented and delightfully daggy. Never change, Clovelly Bowling Club! The back room has 180-degree views of the ocean and a cute little stage. I would fill it with sparkly decorations, hire an incredible band and dance into the wee hours with all my friends and family. In this fantasy, Cafe Paci are in charge of catering, as if they don’t have a sensational restaurant to run.
Any favourite shops?
Shopping for vintage clothing and antiques is my happy place. Mitchell Road Antique & Design Centre is a wonderland I could spend all day in. I adore Dolly Up Vintage on Cleveland Street for [owner] Erin [Paige Stevenson]’s exquisitely curated selection of clothes. Twisting Vintage in Mittagong is just superb. Other nourishing treats include picking up an armful of vinyl at Red Eye Records, gazing longingly at the antique jewellery in the Strand Arcade, devouring a positively orgasmic custard tart from Sweet Belem, selecting much more than one chocolate at One More Chocolate, picking out beautiful writing paper at Pentimento, perusing the shelves and breathing in the old-book smell at Elizabeth’s and going home with a bottle of wine I’ve never tried from P&V.
When you want to impress someone, where do you take them?
To be honest, it’s never going to be the beach. It’s extremely possible that I’m the only person in Sydney who avoids it like the plague (sorry for saying ‘plague’). I’ll admit Sydney’s coastline
is extremely good looking, so at the very least we can wander around Waverley Cemetery – “Here is a lovely selection of our dead!” In truth, I would adore the opportunity to make someone a week-long Sydney itinerary. I’m attempting to convince a friend to move here. We’re doing cocktails at Golden Age followed by dinner at Poly. Surely not a bad start? Then I’ll suggest the cemetery…
What’s one of the city’s most underrated places?
Have you seen Waverley Cemetery?
What makes Sydney a better place?
The very best thing about any city is its arts scene. Shout-out to my favourite places to see live music: Sydney Opera House (who?), the State Theatre, City Recital Hall, Phoenix Central Park, Enmore Theatre, Factory Theatre, Oxford Art Factory, The Great Club, Petersham Bowling Club, Mary’s Underground, the Lansdowne, Red Rattler, Carriageworks, Golden Age and more. I will also never stop mourning the now-closed Giant Dwarf Theatre and Newtown Social Club.
Is there an essential Sydney song?
No matter how many times I see it, I am always completely captivated by the view of Sydney through the window from the left side of the plane when you’re coming in to land. So, I think for me it’s gotta be Sydney From a 747 by the great Paul Kelly.
Georgia Mooney is currently touring with her Supergroup, including Tim Minchin, Hannah Joy (Middle Kids) and Ziggy Ramo. There are two Sydney dates, and tickets are on sale now.
“My Sydney” is a regular column discovering the places and spaces that captivate and entice Sydney’s well-known residents.